Chile's Telecomms Peak Group To Obey Gaming Website Block Order

September 26, 2023
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Chile intends to use a recent Supreme Court ruling involving one internet service provider to apply market-wide blocking of leading online betting sites, according to a top government official.
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Chile intends to use a recent Supreme Court ruling involving one internet service provider to apply market-wide blocking of leading online betting sites, according to a top government official.

Chile’s Undersecretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel) said the government will give multiple telecommunications providers ten business days to provide plans for blocking 23 web addresses under 12 prominent online gambling platforms. 

The statement by undersecretary Claudio Araya to local radio station BíoBío follows the Supreme Court ruling of September 13 ordering telecomms provider Mundo Pacífico to block the 12 platforms.

Alfie Ulloa, executive president of national telecomms association Chile Telcos, which represents Entel, GTD/Telefónica del Sur, Movistar, ClaroVTR and Mundo Pacífico, said the association is waiting for a formal request from Subtel to block the sites.

Chile Telcos members will comply with the ruling, Ulloa said, although the court decision applied only to Mundo Pacífico.

“Companies are waiting for the government to tell them which pages to block. We are working with the companies to understand how this will be done … . Rulings are not commented on, they are complied with,” he said.

However, an industry lawyer said the undersecretariat exceeded its authority in demanding the blockings.

Carlos Baeza, a lawyer who works with Betano, Coolbet, LatamWin and Betsson, told Vixio GamblingCompliance that the Supreme Court order only applies to Mundo Pacífico, and that other providers should not fall into line.

“As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, Subtel and the Casino Gaming Superintendence [SCJ] are doing everything they can to try to get the other internet operators to comply with a ruling that does not affect them,” Baeza said.

“The legal analysis is that the other operators are not obliged to do so and the the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications does not have the power to impose this obligation.

“Therefore, today internet operators are in a situation where they will comply if they want to, but they are not obliged to,” he said.

Araya argued otherwise.

“We have already had conversations, both with the industry and with the SCJ, so the ruling is applicable to all companies,” he said.

Last week it was revealed that football clubs are terminating their contracts with online gambling operators as a result of the turmoil.

Clubs Unión La Calera, Everton de Viña del Mar, Ñublense, Audax Italiano and Coquimbo Unidos will end their contracts with Betway.

 Likewise, the National Association of Professional Football was ordered by the Ministry of Justice at the beginning of September to terminate its contracts with online operators within 30 days. 

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